This morning’s 15-minute writing about my website examines my personal tag cloud more closely.
There are three main elements that together describe who I am. In detail:
DAVE SEAH – Eccentric Creative – Emphasis on Values and Joy
“Eccentric Creative” is expressed by the jumble of candy-like interests that will be organized across the website. I would like to use my headshot here somehow to drive home the personal nature of my site. Rather than list joys and values, I want to use short phrases and words that have an association with that; joyful-sounding text and imagery, not saying “I am joy. Rah.” An example of SHOW NOT TELL. Tell is weak, and smacks of insincerity. The same applies to “values”; they will be implicit in how I talk/write on the website. My personal voice and values come through everywhere, which is already the de-facto style I have.
CREATIVE SELF-IMPROVER and CREATIVE INDEPENDENCE – My Passion – My Personal and Professional Focus
“My Passion”, again, will be shown. Creativity, as broken into three parts (process, productivity, independence) in themselves form a new and significant subsection on the home page. The content here expresses itself as a structured subarea with its own sub-identity under the Dave Seah Value and Joy umbrella. Each of the three aspects could be a mini-site with its own leading essay and reading list.
MAKER – My Projects
This is a section that is a “work in progress” area. Projects that I’m working on, or have recently worked on, would be showcased here. These are the end results of applying my creative powers, which brings me joy. This area has its own identity too, but it is closely tied with the other two main elements. All together, they create the supporting triad of what the David Seah website (and by extension, me) is all about.
Next, there are secondary elements on the website that act in a supporting role. They aren’t main focii, but instead express values or interests that visitors find appealing. The idea is to establish that there is a certain KIND of content and a certain type of CULTURE that is at work here.
STORIES – This is the content from the past 7 years
The articles I’ve written are structured like little stories that end with some kind of takeaway insight, example, or nugget of understanding. Sometimes you get to download something for free. The stream of stories is an important part of the website, but the current 2005-style blog format I’m using makes it difficult to make room for the three main elements I want to stand out. People should see that there is Commentary on creativity/productivity/independence, news from elsewhere, and practical experiences I’m sharing related to my skills and hobbies as a perpetual stream of content under the context of creating and making.
COMMUNITY – Making connections with people
Rather than creating community support through forums and stuff, I instead am creating a beacon that indicates that I’m part of a certain tribe. That tribe is comprised of people who find what I am doing interesting. The ABOUT DAVE and CONTACT links are technically part of community in this way, inviting people to connect. Previously, I’d thought that these were about brand identity, but that is now expressed through the three main elements: “Dave is an Eccentric Creative, A Creative Self Improver Seeking Creative Independence, A Maker of Things”. Adding “That shares a LOT of stuff” is the community add-on, which itself is an extension of the associated value statement.
Finally there are the THINGS FOR SALE and THINGS TO DOWNLOAD. This is the transactional part of the website, and the primary vehicle for supporting myself through my work. This is a significant area, and I’ll have to do a lot of thinking about how to design this sub site so it supports ecommerce and casual browsing. Quite a conundrum.
FREEBIES – Create the semblance of value and treasure, a taste, a preview
Productivity forms! Collections of Forms! These are the things that people will link to, come back for, and pique interest. In terms of commerce, they provide the free sample with no obligation. They also serve to spread the creative / productive / independence messaging along with my statement. They are examples of me putting my money where my mouth is.
THINGS TO BUY – Products, eBooks, Etc
Because I need to live, and want to do it through my website-promoted work, I have some things for sale. These will be tasteful, similarly-styled elements that appear at natural endpoints on the website. There may be a free takeaway, a nugget of wisdom, and nearby will be a direct buy link in a STORE area that collects everything in one place. That’s a NEW challenge, I just realized. It’s probably what I really need to work on next.
And one last thought: how would someone summarize the website as I describe it here? Maybe something like:
Dave Seah’s website is for creative people who love learning and like him, are continually pushing themselves to improve. It’s a wonderful place to find ideas and tools that are inspiring.